Saturday, May 28, 2016

Orson's Belly

Richmond (District) Coffeehouses
Act 1, Scene 29

Location: 1737 Balboa Street (between 18th and 19th Avenues)
Hours: open at 8:00am Monday-Saturday, 11:00am Sunday
Meal: turkish breakfast ~ Feta, black olives, cucumber, tomatoes, honey[1], jam, (and) pita bread; (afterward for a breakfastary dessert treat) 
Red Grape Galette; and a cuppa pour-over De La Paz Peel Sessions (Blend)

(Okay, Brian, we get the first EweToobular juxtaselection ~ everyone knew that Jimi was a big Orson Welles[2] fan, but what gives with the second song?

Just relax, dammit, drink your Coffee, and read along.)

Continuing along with my Richmond (District) Coffeehouses series, I went to a brand-new neighborhood café, ORSON'S BELLY. I can call this a "brand-new" café, because they just opened their doors officially earlier this week ~ as in on Monday. I think that they might have had a "soft opening" last weekend; however, I did not seem to get an invitation to that gala-day[3] (d*mn USPS must have lost my invite in the mail again). 

Why "ORSON'S BELLY", you might ask? Well, that is exactly what I did, and the guy I asked happened to be the owner of the place (I had just assumed that the young guy behind the counter was one of the baristas as he was the one preparing all the Coffee-drinks this morning) and he explained to me that he was a recently-graduated film school student and this movie-themed café was a lot easier to open than getting into the film industry. Don't worry, he told me that the "BELLY" part is more of a paean to the great Orson Welles' genius than an insult (to his later girth). (So, lighten-the-heck-up, ya buncha Fatty-Fat-Pantses!)

I don't remember what exactly used to be located in this same location in the past; however, I am pretty sure that it was not a very cool movie-themed café. The walls are now adorned with Hollywoodland movie posters and photos. They even have movies being projected on one wall (I forgot to take note of what was being shown this morning, though).

The seating is pretty open-spacious. It consists of four tables that can seat two to three people (well, as they are four-sided tables, they could seat four persons, but it is much more comfortable with just two or three), four high-stool seats at the café-counter, and one extra large picnic bench deelie that could easily seat eight to ten people (or two to four Orson Welleses).

There really are not that many other ideas from which to choose for breakfast/morning meal, but the few other ideas that I was looking at were: seasonal quiche (served with macerated strawberries) or  house-made bircher muesli[4] (rolled oats, almond milk, pepita, pear, raisins, agave [vegan]). Additionally, they offer four different types of Bagel Sandwiches (served with mixed greens, and, from what I could see, are served open-faced): house-cured salmon, goat cheese yogurt sauce, cucumber, tomato, chives, jalapeño bagel; mashed avocado, hard boiled egg, chives, spinach, drizzle sriracha, fleur de sel; hummus, spinach, cherry tomato, radish, olive oil, fleur de sel; and warm gorgonzola, walnuts, sliced pear (this one would probably have been my choice if I was in a bagel kinda-mood).

Now, this was all very simple, but all very simply good! Sure, I could get all these same ingredients and make this myself at home (Ha! Fat chance!), but half the beauty of this meal was the fun location and great Coffee. I have no idea if the Feta used was Greek, Turkish, or (shudder) French, but I liked the amount and flavour well enough. (Remember, kids: "Everything's betta with Feta!") The oil-cured black olives were nice, too. The best surprise of the meal was the HUGE loaf of (fresh-baked?) warmed/heated pita bread; I alternately dipped pieces of it into the honey and jam (either strawberry or raspberry) ramekins. The pita bread was very good and could probably be listed as a separate item on their menu even.

(Hey?! Okay, who took a bite of my galette before I had photoed it yet?!)

The Red Grape Galette was a "day-old" and, because of which, was only half-price, which is always half-nice. Day-old or not, it was still plenty today-good with me. I was very pleased to hear that they get all their baked-goods stuff from Butter Love Bakeshop (see previous 'blog-entry from March 13th, 2016).

They also have De La Paz Graceland (Blend) (Now does the above EweToobular juxtaselection make sense? Of course, everyone knows that Jimi Hendrix was from De La Paz, Washington.) as their standard/house drip Coffee. They offer 12 oz bags of both of these Coffees for sale as well as De La Paz 
Big City (Blend). I was tempted to pick up a bag of Graceland (it smelled very tasty in the bags), but I still have four bags of other Coffees that I need to work/drink my way through before buying any more. I know where to get some if I need more, though. I have had this local brand of Coffee before in the past (because "before in the future" really makes no sense whatsoever; unless, perhaps, your name per-happens to be "Marty McFly", "Doc Brown", or "Biff Tannen"). Apparently, they have now merged with another local (as in locally Mission-based) Coffee roastery, Four Barrel Coffee; I have had their products before (also in the past) and know they make some d*mn fine Coffee, too, Agent Cooper.

Not that I needed any condimentary supplementation with this morning's meal (I would never mess with my Feta like that... Hmmm?! I wonder if that Müesli stuff could use a little spicing-up, though), but ORSON'S BELLY had Tapatío® Salsa Picante Hot Sauce for use if needed. I had come prepared with a few of my own hot sauces, but didn't even bother breaking them out.

This place is definitley return trip-worthy! If not for another breakfast, at least for lunch or a dinner snack. 

Who knew that Balboa Street (and in the sleepy and foggy Outer Richmond, to boot) would become such a great haven to bakeries, cafés, and coffeehouses? Watch out Pioneer Square, Balboa Street has it's eyes set on you!

Glen Bacon Scale Rating
turkish breakfast ~ 6.6 (this is factoring in the awesome pita bread loaf);
(day-old) Red Grape Galette ~ 6.8; 
De La Paz Peel Sessions (Blend) ~ 7.1


1. Stupid, useless cunning linguist pointer of the day, bir numara/νούμερο ένα:

The word for "honey" in Turkish is "bal" (Do I really need to provide a pronunciation for that word?); and in Greek it is "μέλι (méli)". (This is an additional reference to last week's visit to Mel's drive-in.)

2. For any of you under the age of forty and are not recent film school graduates yourselves, Orson Welles happened to be one of the most influential and innovative Hollywoodland actors, directors, and writers of the mid-20th Century.

( At first, I thought that might have been another one of them thar new-fangled O'Bammie-Care sites.)

3. As Groucho Marx was wont to point out: 

"I don't think I could handle more than a gala-day!"

4. Stupid, useless cunning linguist (and pseudo-culinaristic) pointer of the day, nummer zwei:

Originally known in Swiss German as "Birchermüesli" or simply "Müesli", the word is an Alemannic diminutive of "Mues" which means "puree" or "mash-up."

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